Monday, October 19, 2009

Meatless Mondays: Week 1

I'm very excited to present to you the first installment of 
Meatless Monday!
Now, what exactly is Meatless Monday?
According to the website: -
~It's a non-profit initiative in association with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with the goal to reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.~
I HAVE JOINED THE MONDAY MOVEMENT, and will henceforth share recipes and other meatless tidbits.
I had trouble choosing which of my favorite meatless recipes to share with you. There are so many yummy goodies that I've been trying out from the Moosewood Cookbook (which I adore). However, some of the ingredients aren't readily available, or they might seem a bit too vegetarian. I'll share exotic Zuccanoes, Ratatouille, Curries, Chana Masala, future Meatless Monday posts. But for now I'll show you my favorite good ol' standby. I want to ease you into the meatless idea gently, dear reader. So, I will start with something delicious, yet simple, with ingredients you have actually heard of and aren't afraid to try.
Without further ado...

Cheap and Easy & Healthful and Quick Black Bean Tacos

1/4 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon oil or margarine
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained -if you rinse your beans, they will be less gassy...or rather, YOU will be less gassy
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies....OR 1/2 cup salsa + 1/4 cup water
1/2 package of Taco Seasoning mix OR the following spices:
(1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt,
   1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
8 hard or soft tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced (optional)
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes or salsa, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Fill taco with as much bean mixture as you like. Top with cheese, avocado, olives, and lettuce. 

This feeds our family of 3 very happily. Noah and Michael even have a song:
"Black Bean- Black Bean- Black Bean- BLACK...
Gimme dem Black Beans-Black Beans- BLACK!"
We usually have a few beans left over...which I smash with a fork and use as a dip for tortilla chips.
Cheap: Black Beans- less than a buck a can...even cheaper if you use dried beans...
Easy: You just throw a few things in a pan, stir once...
Healthy: Black Beans are high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants
Quick: Oh goodness! This takes about 5 minutes to prep, 5 minutes to simmer!

Don't worry, you won't suddenly turn into a hippy just because you lay off meat for a day. Well, maybe you will, I don't know. But what's so wrong with that?! ; ) 
Try out this recipe with an extra-large Margarita, and let me know what you think. 
I hope you enjoy!  

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Gray Sea

Gray Sea